TAMPA, Fla. -- Nick Nelson and Hobie Harris combined for a two-hitter as the Tampa Tarpons defeated the Daytona Tortugas, 3-1, in the rubber game to win the series on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
After yielding a leadoff single by Randy Ventura to begin the game, Nelson got a strikeout and a double play groundout to end the inning. The right-hander retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced while tallying four more strikeouts through the fifth.
Estevan Florial lined a one-out single off LHP Wennington Romero in the third and scored when Diego Castillo blasted a two-run homer just over the wall in left-center. It was Castillo's second home run and first since June 3rd.
Romero (L, 8-9) allowed two earned runs on six hits in four innings for Daytona (25-31, 62-60), walking one while striking out one on 80 pitches (55 strikes).
Michael Beltre worked a leadoff walk in the sixth and advanced to second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a broken-bat, infield single by Morgan Lofstrom. Beltre then scored as Ventura reached on a fielder's choice, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Tampa (26-30, 61-65) promptly got the run back when Isiah Gilliam smashed a leadoff triple to the centerfield wall and later scored on a wild pitch by LHP Kevin Canelon.
A leadoff walk by Courtney Hawkins brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh. Hawkins stole second before Nelson got a fly out by Taylor Trammell.
Harris entered in relief and Brantley Bell reached on an error by Castillo at shortstop. After a fly out by Stuart Fairchild, Hawkins and Bell both moved into scoring position on a double steal, but Harris struck out Beltre to end the inning.
Nelson (W, 7-5) allowed one earned run on two hits in six and a third innings, walking three while striking out seven on 100 pitches (60 strikes). It was the 22-year-old's longest outing since completing seven innings vs. St. Lucie in a win on June 6th.
Harris (SV, 2) stranded a two-out walk in the eighth before throwing a perfect ninth to pick up his second save in as many outings.
LHP Carlos Diaz and RHP Joel Kuhnel each struck out a pair while combining to hold the Tarpons to one hit in the seventh and eighth.
Florial (2-for-4, R, CS) logged his third-straight multi-hit game and his batting .382 (13-for-34) over his last eight games. Gilliam (2-for-4, 3B, R) tallied his second triple. Hoy Jun Park (2-for-3) is batting .357 (10-for-28) over his last seven games.
Following a league-wide off day on Monday, the Tarpons begin a six-game road trip with a three-game series in St. Lucie at First Data Field. RHP Deivi Garcia (0-0, 1.62) will start the opener on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Live play-by-play audio will be available on the St. Lucie Mets Radio Network.
The Tarpons will then play three games in Daytona before returning home to open a four-game series against the Florida Fire Frogs on Monday, August 27th at 6:30 p.m. On "Dollar Dog Night," bring your dog to the game with the purchase of a $1 Dog Ticket. Fans can also enjoy $1 hot dogs all night long.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.